MAC/VAL

MAC/VAL is opened every day of the week, except on mondays:
tuesday to friday, 10 h to 18 h
week-ends and holidays, 12 h to 19 h.

Closed on january 1st, may 1st and december 25th.

phone: 01 43 91 64 20
fax: 01 79 86 16 57

Access map

Place de la Libération
94400 Vitry-sur-Seine

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A word from the Head Curator

An English word for a ‘French’ collection? In fact,
it is the title of one of Verlaine’s most beautiful
poems, the first words of which – ‘Memories,
memories, what do you want of me?’ – were spoken
to me under her breath by Agnès Varda when I told
her about the new hanging of the collection,
in which she features.

Evoking memory, this new sequence celebrates the Museum’s birthday
by relating part of the story of the collection.
It reminds us that memory is its mission, its subject,
just as it is the subject of any public collection.
Five years already: five years working closely
with artists, close to this art scene that MAC/VAL
is now the only museum to champion and make
visible – the contemporary French scene, with its
major figures, its emerging artists, those who are
in the spotlight and those still more in the shade,
but also the foreigners who are enriching
‘our history’ of art, as guests in the exhibitions,
on residencies, and then in the collection itself.
Today, in memory of the Museum’s inauguration,
we are presenting a number of works that made
a particular impression at the opening, but also
some newcomers. Since the role of every collection
is to put together a memory in order to build up
a heritage, by conjugating past, present and future
at the same time (and in the same tense), today
we are choosing to assemble the artworks around
the theme of ‘memories.’

Remembering is what defines us as human beings.
Memory is what grounds us in the Earth, gives us
our density, our strengths and weaknesses. It is
individual, collective, shared or selective. It is ‘good’
or ‘bad’ and, sooner or later, it fails us. It is made up
of images, of sounds, of impressions, of lacks and
shadowy areas. It is light and brilliance. It is silence.
Going back to the roots of the collection and to
the light/kinetic artists naturally brought out this
idea: light as appearance and remanent trace,
as inscription, as play too, and as a way of positioning
art in society in the 1960s. From this joyous,
uninhibited approach by the artists of GRAV
(Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel) stemmed
the subject of memory – more melancholy, perhaps,
but still intensely grounded in life.

The project took shape as a ‘whole,’ an array of works
relating to memory laid out across the spaces:
a hanging that in fact is rather black and white,
like old family albums, with a few spurts of colour
where light summons memory. In their own unique
ways, these works question the relation to time, to
absence and lack, and pose the question of the trace.
And also, these works are memories in themselves:
memories of past hangings, of times past.
This interplay imbued with nostalgia weaves
the fabric that binds our mission, which is
to produce a memory from a present that is relative
and uncertain, and from the history of the works.

As always in the hangings at this Museum,
different artistic forms and generations come
together around a shared subject.
Memories for the telling, but also memories
to be forged with the artists who will intervene in the
collection ‘in the present.’ Today we are inaugurating
a new project, ‘Featuring,’ a programme invented
for its first guest, Pierre Buraglio, in resonance
not only with his work but also with his love of jazz.
Pierre Buraglio is one of the most faithful and bestloved artists in the Museum collection. He gave many
works to the Département, in support of the museum
project. Today he is once again living in Val-de-Marne,
where he is taking up the history his family
constructed here when they left Italy. He remains
very much a part of our world, continuing his work
with determination and humility, going deep into
questions of history, memory, traces and absence.
For that reason, his presence in this hanging,
resonating with the museum’s birthday, seemed to us
both natural and essential.
Because it is something that helps constitute
memory, fidelity is something that we seek
to develop at MAC/VAL, by keeping in touch
with our artists, through substantial linkage
of the permanent collection and temporary
exhibitions, by pursuing projects over the years
with artists who have been here on residencies,
and by developing relations with younger artists.

These are the pleasures and the privilege that
we want to share with the public: an encounter far
from anything commonplace or ‘normal,’ one that is
unexpected and off the beaten track. An opportunity
to meet people who have a different story to tell,
singular visions that overturn our certainties about
the world and show what goes on behind the scenes.

Alexia Fabre, chief curator

An English word for a ‘French’ collection? In fact,
it is the title of one of Verlaine’s most beautiful
poems, the first words of which – ‘Memories,
memories, what do you want of me?’ – were spoken
to me under her breath by Agnès Varda when I told
her about the new hanging of the collection,
in which she features.

Evoking memory, this new sequence celebrates the Museum’s birthday
by relating part of the story of the collection.
It reminds us that memory is its mission, its subject,
just as it is the subject of any public collection.
Five years already: five years working closely
with artists, close to this art scene that MAC/VAL
is now the only museum to champion and make
visible – the contemporary French scene, with its
major figures, its emerging artists, those who are
in the spotlight and those still more in the shade,
but also the foreigners who are enriching
‘our history’ of art, as guests in the exhibitions,
on residencies, and then in the collection itself.
Today, in memory of the Museum’s inauguration,
we are presenting a number of works that made
a particular impression at the opening, but also
some newcomers. Since the role of every collection
is to put together a memory in order to build up
a heritage, by conjugating past, present and future
at the same time (and in the same tense), today
we are choosing to assemble the artworks around
the theme of ‘memories.’

Remembering is what defines us as human beings.
Memory is what grounds us in the Earth, gives us
our density, our strengths and weaknesses. It is
individual, collective, shared or selective. It is ‘good’
or ‘bad’ and, sooner or later, it fails us. It is made up
of images, of sounds, of impressions, of lacks and
shadowy areas. It is light and brilliance. It is silence.
Going back to the roots of the collection and to
the light/kinetic artists naturally brought out this
idea: light as appearance and remanent trace,
as inscription, as play too, and as a way of positioning
art in society in the 1960s. From this joyous,
uninhibited approach by the artists of GRAV
(Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel) stemmed
the subject of memory – more melancholy, perhaps,
but still intensely grounded in life.

The project took shape as a ‘whole,’ an array of works
relating to memory laid out across the spaces:
a hanging that in fact is rather black and white,
like old family albums, with a few spurts of colour
where light summons memory. In their own unique
ways, these works question the relation to time, to
absence and lack, and pose the question of the trace.
And also, these works are memories in themselves:
memories of past hangings, of times past.
This interplay imbued with nostalgia weaves
the fabric that binds our mission, which is
to produce a memory from a present that is relative
and uncertain, and from the history of the works.

As always in the hangings at this Museum,
different artistic forms and generations come
together around a shared subject.
Memories for the telling, but also memories
to be forged with the artists who will intervene in the
collection ‘in the present.’ Today we are inaugurating
a new project, ‘Featuring,’ a programme invented
for its first guest, Pierre Buraglio, in resonance
not only with his work but also with his love of jazz.
Pierre Buraglio is one of the most faithful and bestloved artists in the Museum collection. He gave many
works to the Département, in support of the museum
project. Today he is once again living in Val-de-Marne,
where he is taking up the history his family
constructed here when they left Italy. He remains
very much a part of our world, continuing his work
with determination and humility, going deep into
questions of history, memory, traces and absence.
For that reason, his presence in this hanging,
resonating with the museum’s birthday, seemed to us
both natural and essential.
Because it is something that helps constitute
memory, fidelity is something that we seek
to develop at MAC/VAL, by keeping in touch
with our artists, through substantial linkage
of the permanent collection and temporary
exhibitions, by pursuing projects over the years
with artists who have been here on residencies,
and by developing relations with younger artists.

These are the pleasures and the privilege that
we want to share with the public: an encounter far
from anything commonplace or ‘normal,’ one that is
unexpected and off the beaten track. An opportunity
to meet people who have a different story to tell,
singular visions that overturn our certainties about
the world and show what goes on behind the scenes.

Alexia Fabre, chief curator